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'UPLIFTING': Black Pastors Tell Baffled Don Lemon They're 'Encouraged' by Pence Visit to Church Sites After Arson

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Last month three historically black churches were burned down in Louisiana after the son of a local sheriff’s deputy allegedly committed arson for hate-motivated reasons.

Rev. Harry Richard of Greater Union Baptist Church and Rev. Gerald Toussaint of Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church spoke with Don Lemon on Friday night about the Trump administration’s response to these crimes and their responses were more positive than the CNN host seemed to expect.

“How do you feel about the support you have received from the Trump White House?” Lemon asked the pastors.

“It’s satisfying and it’s uplifting,” Rev. Toussaint said. “I’m reassured right now because of the reaction that we’re getting, especially the visit of Vice President Mike Pence.”

Toussaint admitted they were concerned about the response from the president but told Lemon he felt “encouraged right now because of the reaction of the country.”

“The country has been so supportive,” he told Lemon. “We didn’t know what we were going to do after the fire. But now I’m so encouraged right now and I’m so elated about the reaction that they had—the people that gave, the people that supported us, I can only be just joyful.”

Lemon mentioned the president’s delayed response to the tragedy, saying some thought it was a “little too late” but both pastors kept their positive demeanor.

"I’m optimistic Don,” Rev. Richard said. “I feel like after this tragedy the country is coming together. I appreciate the fact that Mr. Trump did acknowledge the fact that we had this tragedy here in Louisiana.”

“I was encouraged today when Mr. Pence came and visited us, I respect our leadership,” Rev. Richard continued. “One thing I know, Don, that if you’re going to be a leader, you’ve got to acknowledge the suffering of Christ. If that’s where his heart is I believe that we are going to be helped.”

Trying one last time to get a negative reaction from these pastors Lemon asked if the White House has done enough to condemn the recent hate crimes on religious institutions.

“You can always improve, there’s always room for improvement,” Rev. Richard said. “I wouldn’t know how much is enough, but at least I feel confident that at least they’re reaching out.”

H/T: The Daily Caller

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